These Are The 10 Poorest Cities In New Jersey For 2019


We used science and data to determine which places in New Jersey are basically dead broke.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the poorest places in New Jersey.

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New Jersey brings to mind images of Trenton, beautiful landscapes, and some of the best people you’ll find in the good ole US of A.

However, like all states, New Jersey has certain places that are going on hard times. These places have an above average percent of people that are living in poverty, out of work, or not making as much as they should be.

With all the talk about income inequality going on around the country, we thought it prudent to take a look at the places in each state that are struggling to make it even as the economy continues to improve. So we set our sites on bringing attention to the places in New Jersey that could use a helping hand.

To do so, we analyzed the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 188 places in New Jersey with more than 5,000 people.

We were left with this set of the ten poorest places in the Garden State for 2019:

  1. Atlantic City (Photos)
  2. Camden (Photos)
  3. Wildwood (Photos)
  4. Newark (Photos)
  5. Bridgeton (Photos)
  6. Trenton (Photos)
  7. Paulsboro (Photos)
  8. Asbury Park (Photos)
  9. New Brunswick (Photos)
  10. East Orange (Photos)

Again, this isn’t a commentary on the people that live there or the vibrant culture and traditions of these places. Instead, it’s just a look at the facts.

And according to the facts, Atlantic City is the poorest place in New Jersey for 2019.

Rich people not your cup of tea? Feel free to check out the richest places in New Jersey or the most dangerous.

For more on how we calculated the top ten, and for more information about these places, read on.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the poorest states in America or the poorest cities in America.

For more New Jersey reading, check out:

How We Determined The Poorest Places In New Jersey for 2019

The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think about determining the poorest places is to simply the poverty rate. That is, the number of people living below a federally established level of income for a household of a certain size.

However, we don’t think that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the “poorest places”. So we looked at this set of criteria from the newly released 2013-2017 American Community Survey:

  • Poverty Level
  • Median Household Income adjusted for the cost of living
  • Unemployment Rate

The “median household income adjusted for the cost of living” attempts to gauge how expensive it is to live in a place and how that impacts the quality of life. For example, a town might have fewer people living below the official poverty line, but the cost of living is so high they’d still feel poor.

The unemployment rate tries to capture the prospects for improvement in the city or town. If more people are employed, the brighter the future looks and vice versa.

After we collected the data for all 188 places with more than 5,000 people in New Jersey, we ranked each place from 1 to 188 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the poorest.

We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a “Poor Score” with the place having the lowest overall Poor Score, Atlantic City, crowned the “Poorest Place In New Jersey For 2019”.

You can learn more about the top ten below or skip to the end to see the rankings for all 188 places.

Atlantic City, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 39,075
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Income: $26,006 (1st lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.4% (5th highest)
Poverty Rate: 40.6% (1st highest)
More on Atlantic City:  Data | Photos

Atlantic City, unfortunately, ranks as the poorest place in New Jersey thanks to combination of low pay and and a lack of jobs.

The city of 39,075 people averages the 1st lowest median household income in New Jersey and the 1st highest poverty rate. At the very least, the cost of living ranks in the bottom 15% of place in the state, so things like housing are relatively affordable.

Camden, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 75,550
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Income: $26,105 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.0% (6th highest)
Poverty Rate: 37.4% (2nd highest)
More on Camden:  Data | Photos

The second poorest city in New Jersey is Camden.

The city ranks as having the 2nd highest incidence of poverty and 2nd lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 6th highest in the Garden State.

Wildwood, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,136
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Income: $29,945 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 15.3% (2nd highest)
Poverty Rate: 27.7% (10th highest)
More on Wildwood:  Data | Photos

Placing as the third poorest city, Wildwood’s median income ranks as the 3rd lowest.

And that’s a sign that there’s a relatively substantial jump in the quality of the economy from second to third place on our list. The poverty rate is 27.7% and ranks near the bottom of places in the state.

But what makes up for the relatively low incomes of the city is its low cost of living. The income you do make here goes further than in most parts of the Garden State.

Newark, NJ

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 282,803
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Income: $34,826 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 14.8% (4th highest)
Poverty Rate: 28.3% (8th highest)
More on Newark:  Data | Photos

Newark ranks as the fourth poorest place in New Jersey.

The town ranks as having the 5th lowest median household income and the 8th highest incidence of poverty in the state.

That being said, there’s still a ton of cultural diversity in the city as it hosts many events throughout the year.

Bridgeton, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 24,948
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Median Income: $34,135 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 11.5% (12th highest)
Poverty Rate: 32.3% (5th highest)
More on Bridgeton:  Data | Photos

The fifth poorest city in New Jersey is Bridgeton.

The city ranks as having the 4th lowest median income in the state. However, an extremely low cost of living prevents a good number of folks from living in poverty as the poverty rate only ranks as the 5th highest in New Jersey.

Still not the best news for Bridgeton.

Trenton, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 84,867
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Income: $35,524 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 13.0% (9th highest)
Poverty Rate: 27.3% (11th highest)
More on Trenton:  Data | Photos

Trenton ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Garden State.

It ranks as having the 11th highest incidence of poverty and the 9th highest unemployment rate.

Paulsboro, NJ

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,970
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Income: $46,429 (17th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 16.1% (1st highest)
Poverty Rate: 27.7% (10th highest)
More on Paulsboro:  Data | Photos

Paulsboro places as the seventh poorest city in New Jersey.

The city of over 5,970 ranks as having the 9th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.

Asbury Park, NJ

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 15,830
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Income: $39,324 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 10.8% (17th highest)
Poverty Rate: 30.4% (6th highest)
More on Asbury Park:  Data | Photos

Asbury Park ranks as the eighth poorest city in New Jersey.

The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 17th highest in the state.

New Brunswick, NJ

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 56,792
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Income: $38,413 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 9.5% (26th highest)
Poverty Rate: 35.5% (3rd highest)
More on New Brunswick:  Data | Photos

New Brunswick couldn’t stay out of the top ten poorest places in New Jersey; it ranks number 9.

While the median income is the 9th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, New Brunswick ranks as having the 3rd most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in New Jersey.

East Orange, NJ

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 65,151
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 2)
Median Income: $41,819 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 15.1% (3rd highest)
Poverty Rate: 19.1% (22nd highest)
More on East Orange:  Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in New Jersey is East Orange.

The city of 65,151 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Garden State.

There You Have It – The Poorest Places In New Jersey For 2019

Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the poorest places in New Jersey, we weren’t sure what we’d encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in New Jersey.

When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very bottom of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.

If you’re curious enough, here are the richest cities in New Jersey, according to data:

    Richest: Woodcliff Lake
    2nd Richest: North Caldwell
    3rd Richest: Englewood Cliffs

For more New Jersey reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In New Jersey

Rank City Population Poverty Rate
1 Atlantic City 39,075 40.6%
2 Camden 75,550 37.4%
3 Wildwood 5,136 27.7%
4 Newark 282,803 28.3%
5 Bridgeton 24,948 32.3%
6 Trenton 84,867 27.3%
7 Paulsboro 5,970 27.7%
8 Asbury Park 15,830 30.4%
9 New Brunswick 56,792 35.5%
10 East Orange 65,151 19.1%
11 Pleasantville 20,568 22.9%
12 Keansburg 9,868 24.9%
13 Millville 28,235 19.8%
14 Lindenwold 17,481 17.5%
15 West New York 53,345 21.9%
16 Phillipsburg 14,540 18.2%
17 Elizabeth 129,363 18.1%
18 Burlington 9,835 13.9%
19 Woodbury 9,980 19.3%
20 Ventnor City 10,429 12.8%
21 Bellmawr 11,482 20.2%
22 Fairview 14,422 15.0%
23 Roselle 21,746 11.8%
24 Union City 69,815 23.0%
25 Pine Hill 10,517 13.6%
26 Plainfield 51,097 20.9%
27 Paterson 147,890 29.0%
28 Passaic 71,057 33.1%
29 Long Branch 30,751 17.9%
30 Vineland 60,824 16.5%
31 Guttenberg 11,733 16.8%
32 Glassboro 19,387 21.3%
33 Harrison 15,898 16.2%
34 Haledon 8,440 13.0%
35 Hackett 9,569 14.2%
36 Somers Point 10,644 13.5%
37 Little Ferry 10,942 11.2%
38 Lodi 24,805 13.2%
39 Jersey City 265,932 18.7%
40 South River 16,345 9.7%
41 Absecon 8,370 8.8%
42 Bayonne 66,719 15.7%
43 Runnemede 8,391 10.6%
44 Union Beach 5,634 13.0%
45 Prospect Park 5,955 19.1%
46 Gloucester City 11,333 11.2%
47 Linden 42,230 10.3%
48 Kearny 42,487 11.7%
49 Garfield 31,808 17.7%
50 Somerdale 5,417 10.2%
51 Freehold 11,938 15.9%
52 Carteret 24,040 12.8%
53 Washington 6,517 10.6%
54 Keyport 7,138 12.6%
55 South Amboy 8,811 9.7%
56 Stratford 7,019 9.1%
57 Pitman 8,886 9.4%
58 Hammonton 14,557 11.2%
59 Belmar 5,719 11.8%
60 Ridgefield 11,369 9.2%
61 Palmyra 7,296 10.1%
62 Perth Amboy 52,563 20.5%
63 Clayton 8,475 8.0%
64 Hackensack 44,673 14.3%
65 Red Bank 12,220 12.9%
66 Roselle Park 13,709 7.5%
67 Rahway 29,443 7.9%
68 Palisades Park 20,716 11.0%
69 Bloomingdale 8,139 8.1%
70 Dunellen 7,392 9.4%
71 Hight 5,527 11.4%
72 Dover 18,307 11.2%
73 Brigantine 9,164 10.7%
74 Beachwood 11,193 8.7%
75 Newton 7,937 14.2%
76 Mil 7,069 7.7%
77 North Plainfield 22,092 8.1%
78 Manville 10,436 9.0%
79 Bogota 8,437 9.4%
80 Wharton 6,591 4.1%
81 Cliffside Park 24,861 11.8%
82 Eato 12,258 9.2%
83 Fort Lee 37,058 11.4%
84 Barrington 6,811 6.7%
85 Englewood 28,509 9.4%
86 Leonia 9,191 10.3%
87 North Arlington 15,877 7.7%
88 Ocean City 11,328 8.7%
89 Hopatcong 14,507 4.1%
90 Wallington 11,701 10.2%
91 Northfield 8,480 8.5%
92 Highland Park 14,250 10.0%
93 Montvale 8,440 8.5%
94 Sayreville 44,744 6.2%
95 Clifton 86,207 9.5%
96 Woodland Park 12,542 6.2%
97 Elmwood Park 20,293 7.7%
98 Spotswood 8,443 6.6%
99 New Milford 16,760 6.4%
100 Caldwell 8,032 7.2%

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